Paintings that are only viewable in reflective surfaces
April 7, 2006 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Paintings that are only viewable in reflective surfaces...

A while ago I saw a program on probably the history channel about a division in loyalty amongst the English population between two potential monarchs... The interesting bit was that loyalists to the royal who was out of power would make paintings of their guy that were only viewable when a reflective metal vase was placed on top of the painting such that the reflected image of the person was visible in the vase. Otherwise, the painting only looked like vaguely circular swirls on a canvas. I guess it's somewhat similar to mirror writing, but with pictures...

Does anyone have any idea if there's a name for these sorts of paintings, or links to examples of it?
posted by logicpunk to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Best answer: They are called anamorphic paintings.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:17 PM on April 7, 2006

Best answer: Anamorphosis, if you want the noun.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:49 PM on April 7, 2006

Response by poster: Wicked. Thanks.
posted by logicpunk at 8:51 PM on April 7, 2006

Awesome. Thanks!
posted by LittleMissCranky at 10:11 PM on April 7, 2006

These are fun to do at home.
Just put an electric kettle, toaster, or similar shiny gizmo down on a large piece of paper, and draw a picture that looks more or less "correct" in the reflection.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:23 PM on April 7, 2006

This thread also covered anamorphosis, referencing the work of Kelly Houle. I still have the Rick Wakeman album mentioned.
The shame!
posted by punilux at 3:56 AM on April 8, 2006

Have a look at the work of Julian Beever - he does mad anamorphic chalk pavement drawings that look three dimensional when seen from the right angle.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:30 AM on April 8, 2006

Dali did at least a few like this... I remember some examples being set up in the Dali museum in Paris.
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:54 PM on April 8, 2006

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